Updated: Feb 12
Group fitness instructor, Crystal, is a working mom of three who teaches four amazing classes each week - QueenAX Bootcamp, BodyPump, Spin Tabata, and Grit. She focuses on creating a safe and positive environment in each class to help members fall in love with fitness.
Continue reading to learn more about her story, both inside and out of the gym.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Crystal. I am a 37 years old wife, and we have three children. When I had children, I made up my mind that I always wanted to stay fit. Never in a million years did I think that I would be a group fitness instructor. God has a funny way of setting things up, and pushing you further than your limits.
I love fitness and I love people. I have been taking group fitness classes since I graduated college in 2004, and at 33 years old, I became a group fitness instructor. I also have a career that I truly love with the State of New Jersey, and in 2020 it will mark my 15th year anniversary. I try my best to balance family, career and fitness, and so far, I think it’s going pretty well.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
The aspect of the role that I enjoy the most would be as the leader of the class. As the leader or the instructor, you get to choose the atmosphere in the class. My goal is to have each member feel welcomed and loved upon their arrival to the class.
In this world, life can make you happy but sometimes it can be a little rough. I want the members to know that the gym is their safe place, and one of the best gifts you can give yourself is your health. I’m there to help you realize this and help people fall in love with fitness.
What are 3 words to describe Echelon/Thrive?
Connection, Loving, and Community
What would you say to someone who may feel too intimidated to begin exercising?
I would tell that person that Fear is a Liar. You cannot always think about how you feel, because if we are really overwhelmed with our feelings, then we would never make it to the gym. There are always excuses and some are valid, but people make time for what is important to them.
We are a friendly gym, and are here to help as it’s important to leave the insecurities out the door. Do not, I repeat do not compare yourself to anyone, “You vs You.” What is important is your health and you are worth every bit. Always Speak Life into your mind, therefore, encouraging yourself to always strive. So, I hope to see you soon and don’t be so hard on yourself.
What do you like to do on your days off?
On my off days, I enjoy playing with my kids outside and spending time with my family. My husband who is very supportive. Of my children, my oldest son whom is 9 years old, keeps me on my toes because he is so intelligent. My 7 year old is the sweetest girl, whom has autism but is always smiling and gives the best hugs. She has taught me a lot about life, such as valuing what is really important. My 5 year old son makes anyone laugh and has lots of energy while being incredibly friendly.
For that reason, I am never bored at home because my family keeps me active. I like trying new things and traveling to new places with my husband. I like watching movies, but I often fall asleep from a busy day. I like to go to church on Sundays to fuel my spirit with love, joy, and peace, so that way I can share that light to others when work picks back up on Monday.
How do you define success?
Success. Most people think it is money but I consider success to be joy, family, and having people you care about in your corner. Success is having a peace of mind and knowing where your source of strength comes from when things get hard. Success overall means LOVE. To be honest I feel successful, as I am content with what I have. For example, I'm healthy, have a great family, and the icing on the cake is the love I have working at Echelon. Working at Echelon gives me a sense of pride and joy to help others to be successful in their fitness journey.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I actually have two, Fear is a Liar and Walk by Faith not by Sight.
How do you feel about the MemberPERX program?
I love Member Perx because you are able to get perks for being a member, which is not present at any other gym I’ve visited. I know friends who have received discounts on all type of services, including but not limited to savings on cars, restaurants that are amazing, salon-spa, recreation, and various services. Yes, Member Perx is AWESOME!!!
What is your favorite class to teach?
So, I teach a variety of classes such as QueenAX Bootcamp, BodyPump, Spin Tabata, and Grit. I honestly enjoy them all, because they all bring something special to the table. With Queenax Bootcamp, I love the TRX equipment and creating my own format. Whilst teaching Body Pump, I love the great music and feeling strong as you depart from class. I like Spin Tabata because it’s 30 minutes of spin followed by high intensity interval training; therefore, we mix cardio with strength. I enjoy Grit (High Intensity Interval Training), as it burns massive calories within a short amount of time.
What would you say to someone just getting started on your fitness journey?
I think it is important to take a variety of group fitness classes. Balance is the key. Meaning take cardio, strength, mind, and body classes. You will be less prone to injuries and will reach your goals. Echelon has the top instructors for group fitness, as well as personal training through Thrive, which helps members feel more like family. Management hosts a variety of activities and awesome events for everyone to enjoy. I have taught at a variety of places but Echelon provides a sense of connection.